It has long been recognized that children often tend to express their emotions and anxieties through play. Play therapy techniques use this tendency to help children unearth and work through traumatic experiences and emotional difficulties. Some adults can benefit from play therapy, although the method is primarily used for children and adolescents. Clinicians who work with clients receive specialized training in play therapy.
At Grace Counseling, a mental and physical wellness center in Texas, play therapy is one of many techniques to help our young clients heal.
What Is Play Therapy and How Does It Work?
Play therapy techniques use client-centered play to encourage children to express emotions and reveal trauma. The therapeutic play is often conducted in a room that looks much like any other child’s playroom but contains specific toys conducive to self-expression and communication. The child is allowed to play, usually in whatever way they prefer, while the clinician makes observations and asks questions. The goal is to allow the child to feel safe and comfortable enough to express feelings and talk about events they might otherwise be hesitant to discuss openly.
Play therapy is a technique used to help children communicate in ways that are more suited to their stage of development. Children often have difficulties putting feelings into words, so observing them at play can give counselors more information about the child’s state of mind. One of the ways that a play therapy program can help is by letting the child feel that they are more in control of the therapeutic interaction.
When Is Play Therapy Used to Help Young People?
Usually, play therapy is offered along with other therapies and treatment methods. Clinicians trained in play therapy will be able to decide if the method is appropriate for each child based on their situation. There are many situations where play therapy techniques could help a young person. Some of these are:
- Family stress such as divorce or death
- Illness or surgery
- Traumatic events
- Witnessing or experiencing domestic violence or abuse
- Mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety
- Attention deficit disorders (ADD or ADHD)
What Are the Benefits of a Play Therapy Program?
When used in conjunction with additional therapeutic methods, play therapy can be extremely beneficial to a child who is struggling with their emotions or behavior. Some of the benefits of engaging in play therapy are:
- The child can communicate about troubling feelings or events in a safe and caring environment.
- Clinicians can help the child process their feelings and resolve conflicts related to negative emotions or trauma.
- The child learns to communicate and express emotions more freely, reducing the potential for difficulties in the future.
- Children receiving play therapy become empowered to resolve issues through communication rather than hide their feelings or keep anger inside.
Discover What Grace Counseling Can Do For Your Child
When a child is struggling, it can be difficult for the whole family. At our wellness center in Lewisville, Texas, we are committed to serving our young clients and their families as they heal from emotional and behavioral difficulties. We offer a full array of services to help your child recover and learn skills they will need as they grow into happy and healthy adults. Some of the therapies and programs we offer are:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Physical wellness activities
- Family therapy
If your child needs help and looking for a play therapy program in the Fort Worth area, now is time to reach out. Contact our caring and knowledgeable staff today at 844.564.0712 and tell us how we can help your whole family heal.